Dunia Frontier Consultants is pleased to present this report on contemporary political and tribal dynamics in Anbar province. The report synthesizes Dunia’s expertise on Iraq with information gleaned from a number of experts who have significant onthe-ground experience in Anbar.
As is widely reported, Anbar’s Akkas gas field is set to be developed by South Korea’s Kogas, marking the first major oil and gas project in the province.
The prospect for potentially billions of dollars in further energy development are on the horizon, as five of the twelve plots in Iraq’s 4th round of oil & gas licensing are in Anbar. With those as touchstones, interest in the province is definitely heating up.
The information presented in this report will give companies interested in entering the Anbar market a better understanding of the local operating environment. Anbar’s political, economic and social fabric is a constantly evolving network of often overlapping political, tribal and economic interests represented by a broad spectrum of individuals.
This report provides a solid foundation for navigating this challenging environment. Dunia’s analysis of the on-the-ground dynamics in Anbar elucidates how the province is functionally administered by a confluence of actors, including
elected and appointed politicians, tribal interests, Anbaris serving in prominent positions in the Central Government, provincial ministerial representatives and local business leaders.
Anbar is officially led by Governor Qassim and Mohamed Hammadi al-Fahadawi, following his appointment in April of 2009. Governor Qassim’s appointment was facilitated by his political patron, the chief of the Anbar Awakening Council: Ahmed
Abu Risha. Governor Qassim heads a provincial government consisting of two deputy governors and twenty-nine elected provincial council members.
Dunia’s Anbar Field Guide offers a detailed description of Governor Qassim’s background, political loyalties, and influence in Anbar’s oil and gas sector.
The report also identifies several other key players from political, tribal and business realms as well as offering an assessment of the province’s political and tribal landscape, as they pertain to doing business in the province.
Key insights contained in this report include:
- Governor Qassim is Anbar’s most influential politician, though his fate is intrinsically tied to Awakening Council leader Ahmed Abu Risha;
- Governor Qassim has shown a propensity to lobby specific business interests at the expense of open bidding processes;
- There are also several prominent Anbaris representing a spectrum of interests who retain the ability to exert significant local influence;
- Anbar is currently undergoing a political shift as power dynamics rebalance in anticipation of the US troop withdrawal;
- As Anbar’s economy continues to develop, tribal influence is expected to be particularly strong in the oil and gas services sector;
- Tribal influence is not a distinctly separate phenomenon from political influence, rather the two are often closely intertwined;
- The provincial council has clearly demonstrated the ability to hamper prospective foreign investment when local interests are neglected;
- Much of day-to-day violence in Anbar is economically and politically, rather than ideologically,driven.
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